WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) – A scrapyard fire in Waterbury caused a response from state environmental officials after fuel ended up in a nearby river.
The fire was reported at Albert Bros. Inc on E. Aurora Street, near routes 8 and 73, on Thursday morning.
The smoke could be seen billowing over Route 8 and was also visible from I-84.
It also could be smelled at nearby homes just west of Route 8.
Firefighters told Channel 3 that the fire was brought under control, as aerial ladders put water on mounds of scrap metal.
The company used its equipment to pull the burn pile away from unburn materials so the aerial ladder could hose the fire from above.
An earth mover also removed pieces of metal to reach flames at the bottom of the mounds.
Waterbury Deputy Fire Chief Richard Paltauf referred to the call as a long, extensive operation.
“As you can see, we have a pile that was approximately 200 by 200 square feet, and 50 feet tall burning,” Paltauf said.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also responded to the scene, saying the cause of the fire was petroleum-based.
However, there’s no word on what ignited it.
DEEP also said petroleum has impacted the Naugatuck River.
“Booms are being deployed by DEEP personnel to contain run-off,” DEEP said in a news release. “We are directing the property owner to hire a contractor to run samples of the impacted water for volatile organic compounds, semi volatile organic compounds, and metals.”
Officials said there is no impact to the drinking water.
DEEP said it is also providing drone support for aerial visibility, and has enlisted the assistance of the Connecticut National Guard’s Mobile Lab for onsite air monitoring assistance/lab analysis. Wireless monitoring is being performed to check for toxic compounds.
No injuries were reported.
The family-owned industrial and retail metal recycling business credited its fast-thinking employees who noticed the fire and called 9-1-1.
Albert Bros. Inc. explained workers followed procedures to make sure everyone stayed safe, saying its preparedness and safety procedures born from 125 years of metal recycling experience were tested.
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